THE newly-formed New Forest Women’s cricket team outplayed their Petersfield opposition in scorching conditions at Petersfield’s Heath ground.
After winning the toss, the home side sent their New Milton-based counterparts to field first. Despite the 33.5C heat they fielded and bowled superbly, putting Petersfield under pressure from the off.
Fast seam bowler Leah Cutler (2-17) forced the openers into a state of perpetual defence until wicketkeeper Emily Taylor took a fine catch to dismiss K. Seaville. Captain Izzy Hill (1-14) had a precise spell of bowling and Katie Jones (0-19) kept up the pressure.
Reagan Thomas (1-14) took opener G. Allcock’s wicket when she clipped her stumps. Too many leg-side balls from the bowlers meant Ash Tye was kept busy at fine leg with several dives and chases to prevent fours.
With the run rate increasing, New Forest tried spin and swing to dismiss the tricky middle order. First Gracie Goodsell (0-14), Amy Mills (0-13), then Olivia Ridout (1-14) dropped a tricky caught-and-bowled, only to recover with a fine delivery to the off-stump next ball.
Cutler dropped a tough chance to catch top scorer I. Allcock (38) leaving pressure mounting until Sophie Cooper (3-10) showed class with an incredible double-wicket maiden. Olivia E. (2-4) had a couple of fine overs with accurate line and length.
Then Cutler finished off the innings, securing the final wicket, leaving Petersfield on 120 off 30 overs.
In reply, New Forest’s openers Mills (32) and Cooper (19) both had excellent innings and saw off Petersfield’s early attack with several fours and a collection of singles. With Mills caught by Allcock, Thomas went in but she was soon caught by M. Naughlty.
Six New Forest batters were dismissed by catches with balls failing to clear the infield. Hill (4) played some nice, clean shots but was dismissed by a swinging ball. Tye (6) entered, but when Cooper was caught by Allcock, it looked like New Forest might be in trouble.
Cutler (22) and Tye steadied the middle order against erratic bowling which saw no-ball calls not given. Clarke then caught a big drive to dismiss Tye. Jones (7*), who batted cleverly, was joined by Olivia E. (4) who hit a nice off-drive boundary before she was caught on the next ball.
Taylor (9*) ran her singles hard and forced an over-throw for four, she then sealed the two-wicket victory for her side by striking a boundary.